Walking training

Yesterday I put the pack saddle on Aitana for the first time, very lightly packed with cycling pannier bags containing about 10 kg (just water and feed for the foal), and walked her to Finestrat down the narrow path through the valley.

Aitana walked very well and seemed quite comfortable with the pack saddle. It is good to get the foals used to this early, without weighing them down with a load that they are not ready for yet, and both Morris and Aitana have now carried the pack saddle. The main problem with both of them has been the rest stop in Finestrat. Yesterday I parked Aitana in the little square opposite the Bar Cantonet and gave her food and water before sitting down to a beer across the road. She kicked up such a fuss when she couldn’t see me, braying and stamping, that I had to keep going across the road to reassure her and eventually I had to drink up quickly and get her back on the road towards home!

The next two lovely photos were taken by Tom Oates. I had arranged to meet Tom and Jenny for a drink at the Cantonet, but Aitana was braying anxiously and needed to walk straight back home to mummy Matilde, so I had the shortest ever bar stop in Finestrat!


About Gareth Thomas

After a mixed career as an aircraft technician, London fringe theatre playwright, Franciscan friar, and secondary school teacher, I find myself looking after the needs of four donkeys in a remote location in the mountains in the Costa Blanca. I like to listen to BBC Radio 4 and the wind in the pine trees. I am writing a comedy about a school in Benidorm. My favourite film of all time is "Jean de Florette". If I had my time again I would not have spent the early 1970s working for Special Branch.
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4 Responses to Walking training

  1. JabbaPapa says:

    Aitana really does look EVER SO SMART !!!

  2. Frere Rabit says:

    Hi Jabba. Yes, Aitana is very smart. She also has a thing about wheelbarrows. She will always chase me when pushing a wheelbarrow and try to knock it over, whatever is in it. I think this is a sign of great intelligence, for her protest is essentially a Luddite rejection of the wheel.

  3. ALiCe__M says:

    AHA !!! LOVE the hat !! how fashionable. Those donkeys should model.

  4. Frere Rabit says:

    Hello, Seagull! Yes, the hat looks good on her. It was the hat I made into an Easter bonnet with flowers on it last year for Aitana’s mother Matilde. She shook it off, ate the flowers and trampled the hat. It seems Aitana has a greater respect for hats than for wheelbarrows.

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